(The Grio) — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan got right to the point in his 2009 Savior’s Day keynote address. He opened by calling it a great honor in his words to welcome “brother” and “leader” Muammar Gadhafi. The occasion was Gadhafi’s first visit to the United States. He was there to address the 64th opening session of the United Nations. Farrakhan was just getting warmed up with his effusive introduction of Gadhafi. He spared no words in branding Gadhafi the second coming of Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, George Padmore and Gamel Nasser. These are the men that Farrakhan regards as the genuine and authentic African and Arab freedom fighters who opposed the evils of colonial and imperial rule. But Farrakhan’s placing of Gadhafi among the pantheon of historical African liberation figures was not simply a case of racial idolatry and hero worship. It was also a case of hard headed business and political pragmatism. Farrakhan didn’t try to hide it in his speech. He boasted that Gadhafi had shelled out $3 million to the Nation of Islam — then under the tutelage of Elijah Muhammad — in 1971 to buy and renovate a Greek Orthodox Church that became the Chicago based national headquarters of the organization.